Bailiwick Interior Design


How To Select The Perfect Paint & Finish Part 3

Try These Tips for the Best Way to Test out a Paint Color

Sample Swatches

Yes, you can narrow down your paint colors with a paint deck or the small swatches at a paint store, but one of the benefits of working with a professional designer is that we have access to larger (approx. 8x10) color swatches! If this isn't an option for you, many manufacturers will sell smaller liquid samples, but not in every color.  Some manufacturers like Benjamin Moore sell large oversized paint swatches, too, if not sold at your local store you can order online.

Start with White

If you decide to try some paint out on your walls, it's imperative to paint it on a WHITE surface - otherwise the appearance of your "test color" will be effected with the underlying and surrounding paint color. You really won't get a true value of the new color if you don’t start with a white base! If you don't feel like priming a wall area first, simply do your test strip on a piece of white illustration board. (Don't use poster board, as it will buckle and create shadows).

In the Home Stretch

Once you have narrowed down your choices, I also suggest trying the new, proposed color on ALL the walls of the space. Since color is greatly affected by the light under which it is viewed, your wall color will appear different on each wall. Make sure it appeals to you in every area.
The light source in your space will change the paint color, too. So make sure you check out the color during the day under daylight conditions and in the evening under artificial lighting. If you're using fluorescent bulbs or higher color temperature LED bulbs like 4000K, the hue of your color may shift significantly!

Finally, make sure to check out the color against any cabinetry, masonry, natural stone or permanent elements in the room. Wood-tone kitchen cabinets can be the most problematic when it comes to selecting the best paint color to complement them. For instance green will bring out the red tones of cherry wood tone cabinets - something to consider if you are trying to play that color down.

Do Your Homework!

I admit all of these steps sounds like a lot of work! But considering you want this paint to last for a long time, it's well worth the effort to make sure it's the perfect fit for your space!

Carrie OesmannComment